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Dr. Mary J. Scarlett was a Quaker, born in 1822 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She devoted her early years to being a teacher in Chester County, Pennsylvania, then entered and graduated from the Woman's Medical College in 1857. In 1862, she became professor of anatomy at Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania.

Collection contains seven letters (22 pages) M. J. Scarlett wrote between 1845-1864. Two letters were addressed to her sister, Elizabeth (1845, 1849), and five to her niece (1858, 1860, 1863, 1864). In the letters she discussed details of her life at the time, from the teaching of students to the choosing of proper fabric for sewing a dress, making a comfortable sitting room, or studying public health and hygiene. She also mentioned many family matters. She commented on her hopes for the abolition of slavery and the infighting among abolitionists at a recent national meeting, and noted her puzzlement that those Quakers who would quickly speak as abolitionists would not also speak up on issues of faith within the Society of Friends. During the Civil War, she described the effect of the draft in Philadelphia, recorded the general concern that the Army of the Potomac needed to be successful, and pointed to camps nearby as well as to funerals passing. Collection also includes an undated broadside for "An Introductory Lecture to a Course on Physiology" to be delivered by Scarlett. Acquired as part of the History of Medicine Collections (Duke University), the Lisa Unger Baskin Collection, and the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture.

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Over 200 pieces of correspondence dating from 1759–1880, written by women of the Saltar and Gordon families of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland between themselves and other family relations. Over a third of the letters date before 1825. The principal correspondents are Elizabeth 'Betsy" Gordon Saltar, her daughters Lucy Saltar and Frances "Fanny" Saltar, and Elizabeth's cousins Mary Gordon and Polly Gordon. Dozens of other letters come from family friends and relatives, male and female, from prominent families in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, New York, and some from the Midwest and New England states. Topics include courtship; marriage; religion; pastimes; visits and travel; and the welfare of family members and friends. There are many references to illnesses, with many details on treatments and outcomes. There are also long passages and references to grief and mourning on the death of loved ones, and some discussions of finances. There are a few references to slavery and to enslaved people and servants. Letters sent during the Civil War discuss events centered around Pennsylvania, particularly in 1863; one discusses African American troops and their role in the war, and the circumstances surrounding the recruitment of the 3rd United States Colored Troops' commander, Benjamin C. Tilghman. A few earlier letters speak of the War of 1812, especially in and around Baltimore and Philadelphia. Acquired by the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture.

The papers consist almost entirely of 266 pieces of correspondence dating from 1759–1880, written by women of the Saltar and Gordon families of Pennsylvania and Maryland between themselves and other family relations. Over one-third of the letters date before 1825. The principal correspondents are Elizabeth 'Betsy" Gordon Saltar, the family matriarch, Lucy Saltar, Frances "Fanny" Saltar, Mary Gordon, and Polly Gordon. There are also single letters from other female members of the Saltar family and a handful of letters from men, some of whom were Saltar family members. The letters are organized by correspondent name, ending with a group of letters addressed to unidentified individuals.

The manuscript pages total approximately 765, primarily bifolios, almost all written in ink. There are also four additional manuscripts: an invitation; a sheet of paper with receipts; and a memorandum and bond concerning a land sale. A number of later letters are accompanied by addressed envelopes, some with stamps.

The correspondence is almost entirely comprised of women writing to other women: mothers to daughters; daughters to mothers; and cousins to cousins; and friends to each other. Over half of the collection comprises letters to and from a family matriarch, Elizabeth Gordon Saltar, living at her residence at Magnolia Grove (near Frankford, Pa.), and a large group of letters sent by various correspondents to her daughter Fanny Saltar, who was one of the family's historians. Also present is a large group of correspondence between cousins Elizabeth Gordon Saltar and Mary Gordon, as well as letters addressed to Elizabeth Gordon Saltar's other daughter Lucy Saltar, and letters addressed to Elizabeth Gordon Saltar's cousins, Mary Gordon and Polly Gordon.

Other families who correspond and/or are mentioned often in the letters: Bowne, Brooks, Bunyan, Coleman, Drexel, Hartshorne, Howell, Lardner, McMurtrie, Morgan, Morris, Stillman, Tilghman, Ulstick, Van Dykes, and Wharton. Many of these are prominent families from Pennsylvania or Maryland. One letter from a Bowne in series 7 contains a partial family tree of the Bownes and Saltar families. Most of these letters are found in the Fanny Saltar series.

Among the places from which letters were sent are areas in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York State, New Jersey, Illinois, Ohio, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Paris (France), and Rome (Italy). Cities represented are Boston, Baltimore, Charleston, New York, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and others. Many letters were sent to or from Magnolia Grove, the Saltar plantation home near Philadelphia.

Topics tend to focus on societal mores and customs of the times as experienced by married and single women of land-owning classes: courtship; marriage; religion; pastimes; visits and travel; and the welfare of family members and friends. There are many references to illnesses such as measles, bowel complaints, eye conditions, diphtheria, tumors, and mental illness, with many details on treatments and outcomes. There are also long passages and references to grief and mourning on the death of loved ones, and fairly frequent mentions of finances.

The letters written during the Civil War discuss events centered around Pennsylvania, particularly in 1863, as well as a comment on friends going off to war, and one letter discusses African American troops and the circumstances surrounding the recruitment of the 3rd United States Colored Troops' commander, Benjamin C. Tilghman, whom the Saltars knew from Philadelphia. Earlier letters speak of the War of 1812, especially of events around Baltimore.

Acquired by the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture.